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literature posters > literary elements index > LITERARY TECHNIQUES | Literary Terms | Literary Devices

A literary technique is component of storytelling that an author employes to enhance the their message : alliteration, anthropomorphism, foreshadowing, hyperbole, imagery, metaphor, onomatopoeia, personification, repetition, simile.

Literary Devices: Alliteration
Literary Techniques: Alliteration

Alliteration - repeating the same consonant sound at the beginning of two or more words in close succession.

On the hall-guest she hurled herself, hent her short sword, broad and brown-edged, the bairn to avenge, the sole-born son. Beowulf

Literary Devices: Anthropomorphism
Literary Techniques: Anthropomorphism

Anthropomorphism - applies human-like characteristics to animals or objects.

The Caterpillar and Alice looked at each other for some time in silence: at last the Caterpillar took the hookah out of its mouth and addressed Alice in the languid, sleepy voice.
“Who are you?” said the Caterpillar.

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Literary Techniques: Foreshadowing
Literary Techniques: Foreshadowing

Foreshadowing - hints at events to occur later.

The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could, but when he ventured upon insult, I vowed revenge.

The Cask of Anomtillado by Edgar Allan Poe

Literary Devices: Hyperbole
Literary Techniques: Hyperbole

Hyperbole - exaggerated statements used to evoke strong feelings or to create a strong impression, but is not meant to be taken literally.

There did not seem ot be brains enough in the entire nursery, so to speak, to bait a fish-hook with;

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain

Literary Devices: Plot
Literary Techniques:

Imagery - is the forming mental images of a scene using descriptive words, especially making use of the human senses. was the incarnation of blind and insenate Greed. It was a monster devouring with a thousand mouths, trampling with a thousand hoofs; it was the Great Butcher – it was the spirit of Capitalism made flesh.

The Jungle by Upton Sinclair

Literary Devices: Metaphor
Literary Techniques:

Metaphor - an analogy between two objects or ideas, conveyed by the use of a word instead of another.

Normally he admired the office, . . . It was a vault, a steel chapel where loafing and laughter were raw sin.

Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis

Literary Devices: Protagonist
Literary Techniques:

Onomatopoeia - suggests the source of the sound that it describes.

One, two! One, Two! and through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead
and with its head
He went galumphing back.

The Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll

Literary Devices: Theme
Literary Techniques:

Personification - using comparative metaphors and similes to give living characteristics to non-living objects.

Each felt the wound,
and Nature from her seat
Sighing through all her Works
gave signs of woe,
That all was lost.

Paradise Lost by John Milton

Literary Devices: Repetition
Literary Techniques: Repetition

Repetition - the simple repeating of a word in order to emphasize.

I looked upon the rotting sea,
And drew my eyes away;
I looked upon the rotting deck,
And there the dead men lay.

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Literary Devices: Simile
Literary Techniques:

Simile - a figure of speech comparing two unlike things, often introduced with the words “like”, “as”, or “than”.

One of the new things people began to find out in the last century was that thoughts – just mere thoughts – are as powerful as electric batteries – as good for one as sunlight is, or as bad for one as poison.

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

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LITERARY TECHNIQUES | Literary Terms | Literary Devices

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last updated 12/26/13